STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE
Creator: Rick Berman, Brannon Braga
Stars: Scott Bakula, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock
Based on: Original Star Trek TV Series
Original Network: UPN
Original Release: September 26, 2001 – May 13, 2005
Worth it?No, unless you want to go back and realize all the flaws with it.!
A century before Captain Kirk’s five-year mission, Jonathan Archer captains the United Earth ship Enterprise during the early years of Starfleet, leading up to the Earth-Romulan War and the formation of the Federation.
A very big disappointment, but not for the reasons I had ignored watching it the first time around.
Enterprise has good actors, and the occasional great performance, especially from my favorite, Jeffrey Coombs who played the Andorian Shran with an occasional recurrent role. The sets I thought were great, along with the costuming for everyone except T’Pol (which this comes into the problems I have).
The problem comes down to the writing. It is the laziest, sexist, unimaginative writing that I have seen in the Star Trek universe, overall more so then even the first season of ST:NG. The number of rape/assaults that occurred randomly on the show (mostly using mind-melds as the stand in) were fairly common. They even had T’Pol who seems to be the constant recipient of this do it back to someone else. That bothered me a lot.
Then we get into the sexist treatment of T’Pol in general, constant forcing her into those situations, combined with that stupid body fitting outfit she wore, instead of the normal uniform. The ramrod writing of trying to shoehorn her into scenes such as the decon room where they have her sweating and posing sexually while waiting for the decontamination happens.
I also need to point out that there were very few original ideas in the series as well. Instead of taking this opportunity to maybe do something more gritty (maybe on a Babylon 5 level) they instead reworked a lot of episodes (well sometimes not even reworking) from the original series. They also tended to not tell stories linearly, instead starting from the end and going back which is not their strength (stay in your lane).
In addition there was no actual character progression, any progress in a character that was learned in a story disappeared within two more episodes. Not even counting the fact that the behavior of the characters would sometimes be 180 degrees from what they said in other episodes. I wonder if they even had a plot bible, which is a book or data store that records all the personality traits of each character and things that happen to change them, this way multiple writers have the same base character for each of their stories and it allows them to slowly change a character.
Overall the sad writing is what made this show sink for me. I can’t blame the actors at all, they did what they could. It was a chore to finish Season 4.
Pros: The actors worked hard on this and did make it more watchable (especially Jeffrey Coombs).
Cons: The writing was a mess, no permanent progression, no real original ideas, just rehashing old subjects.